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8th Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 6-8, 2004
My con journal. It's long (winded).
Thursday, August 5, 2004 (Abridged)
Driving from just south of Boston, MA to Montreal, Quebec. Left home around 6:30am. Picked up Vashkoda and her friend Sean (we met at the 2003 con) in the Bronx on my way. Didn't take the I-80 exit in Albany and went 200 miles west through New York before we figured out the error. Drove 200 miles east. Got back on I-80 and headed north torwards Montreal. Got in around midnight.
Friday, August 6, 2004
Vashkoda, Sean and I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We then headed over to the registration desk to pickup our badges and materials. We had a couple hours before the first session of the day, so we went in search of a universal remote.
Sean had brought his Playstation 2 with him in hopes of hooking it up to the TV in our room. However the hotel took every step they could to not allow hooking up external devices to the TV. We figured if we got a universal remote, we could then change over to the line input on the TV and bypass the hotel's attempt to stop such things.
Next door to the hotel was a Staples... or whatever it was they called Staples in Canada. No remotes, although I did pick up a silver Sharpie in hopes of getting Keith David to sign an issue of the Gargoyles comic book I had brought along.
We then headed west from the hotel trying to locate a Radio Shack a clerk at the Staples had said was nearby. We didn't find anything and turned around. As we passed under a bridge on the way back I was molested by one of the local fowl, deciding to use my shoulder as a convenient perch. Vash rescued me from the vile creature, and on we went.
Crosswalks in Montreal are much different than anything I was use to. For starters, you didn't have to push a button to get the lights to go red so we could cross. Seems Montreal has a thing for one-way streets, which allows a person to cross on any red light perpendicular to the direction you're crossing. They even provide a little counter on some corners to tell you how much time you have to cross. Very handy.
We then went east from the hotel to check out what was over on the other side. During our trip we found a Subway and a pasta shop, so food wasn't going to be an issue. Vash is big on pasta and so we planned to return later for dinner.
We got back to the hotel in time for our first session of the day. Greg was hosting a session on voice acting, partly in preparation for the radio play auditions that would follow. On our way in I ran into Greg and said hi. At the 2003 con I missed this session because I arrived Friday evening. Now I would finally get to attend the session.
Keith David was suppose to co-host the session, but we learned he had been delayed while shooting for the new film "Transporter 2" in Miami. No worries.
A little ways into the session the DVD film crew showed up. I tried to take it in stride, but was incredibly excited. The presence of the film crew showed that, yes, there really was going to be a DVD, and yes they really are going to do a documentary on the con. Of course we knew this ahead of time, but seeing the crew there in person cemented the reality of it all.
After some stories and a few pointers, Greg had people get up and read from some scripts he had with him. I got in on the last one. After the session ended, auditions for the radio play began. A bunch of us lined up outside of the room while Greg and Crzy Jen set things up. Like last year (and previous cons) four packets were given to the first four people in line. Each packet had a page of dialogged for a single character. As we moved forward in line and copy a copy of this packet, we would have to pick a character to read for when we auditioned for Greg.
With the packet also came a piece of paper where you had to fill out your info and if you could do a certain accent or bark or meow. The bottom half of that paper was for Greg to fill out during the audition. It included spaces to mark how well you performed based on various criteria. It also included a list of all the parts using 2-letter abbreviations to obfuscate which parts were which. It's a fun puzzle to look at those 2-letter abbreviations, try to identify which represent what characters, and figure out what the radio play will be. (Greg keeps the radio play content a secret until the show.)
I saw Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 listed amongst the parts and instantly put together that these had to be quarrymen parts. Since the only episode Greg wrote that had Quarrymen in it was "The Journey" I guessed we'd be doing a version of "The Journey". Vash was able to identify far more characters based on the 2-letter abbreviations than I and helped confirm my hunch when she figured out that JC was John Castaway and VG was Vinnie Grigori, aka Vinnie from the episode "Vendettas". Both characters are in "The Journey" so at that point we felt that we had a pretty good guess.
Last year I had auditioned with Xanatos' dialogged, which I had picked at the last minute with no chance to review it to get a feel for the lines. This year I'd have time to prepare. I finally settled on Lexington's lines just as the DVD crew came over and asked if they could film us rehearsing for the audition. I think everyone was a little apprehensive and/or insecure about performing for the cameras, but a couple people mustered up the guts to do it. One of whom had read Lex's lines. Then all eyes were on me to perform for the camera too. WTF? Okay. For whatever reason, I didn't feel I could do Lex's lines since they already had that on tape now. So I switched over to Broadway and read for the camera.
Finally it came time for my turn to audition. I'd get away from the film crew and not have to worry about being on camera. Nope. The film crew followed me into the room to tape my audition. Swell. But I could focus on the script and ignore what was around me, which I did. I thought I did well enough to have a decent chance at getting a part which didn't involve just grunting (as was the case last year).
After my audition I waited around with Vash and Sean while IRC Goliath did his thing. Vash and Sean didn't seem to be into auditioning for the radio play, but there were something like 31 parts, the most for any radio play performed at a Gathering thus far. Several others there as well as myself tried to convince them to audition, but it wasn't happening.
Sean wanted Internet access and rumor had it that the hotel had a couple floors of newly-renovated "premier" rooms that would cost us about 25 bucks more a night, but had Internet access. So we talked to the people at the front desk and got our room upgraded. We were now on the 22nd floor and had a great view looking west from the hotel.
At the Opening Ceremonies, Karine got up and welcomed us to the con and introduced the staff. This year's staff put on a great con, I haven't heard one bad thing. Keeping 200 guests happy is certainly not an easy job. Thanks guys!
CrzyD presented me with this years fan guest of honor award. I had no clue this was coming until about halfway through her intro, she mentioned chat rooms and Vash nudged me. It was really cool, but I feel there are a large number of people who've done a lot more for the fandom than myself, and so I felt a bit awkward. I tried to somewhat convey that in a little piece I said after getting the award. I was trying to acknowledge that s8's 'success' is wholly due to Ask Greg and the content Greg provides to this fandom. It's his willingness to share new insight and information on the Gargoyles universe that keeps the spark alive. And of COURSE it's also everyone who visits the site, who posts to the comment room, who hit the chat room, who post questions to Ask Greg. It's the fans willingness to contribute content, THAT's the other half. I totally missed this while I was at the podium, and realized about 10 seconds after sitting down what an idiot I was. It's Greg and the fans, contributing and feeding off of each other, THAT's why s8 exists in the form it does.
But it was still cool to get the award.
Opening ceremonies got taken over by the clan olympics. The first event was your basic stuff-balls-down-shirt-with-holes sort of thing. The losing team would be eliminated. However a special "7-up" ball (I think... or it may have been a different "power-up" ball) that was found by one team could have been used to save the losing team from elimination. That wasn't happening. Very cold.
I juggled for the cameras.
Chris Rogers got up and talked about what was in store for Gathering 2005. This may have happened after Greg did his stuff because Siryn talked about working on the mascot picture during the Team Atlantis episode... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Gathering 2005 will be in Las Vegas as the Palace Station hotel and casino. Rooms will cost $89 a night. The mascot was created by Siryn with the suggestion of "What would Frank Sinatra look like as a gargoyle?". She calls him "blue eyes" but Chris planned to have a naming contest for the mascot. He also talked about registering the Gathering as a certain type of organization in which membership dues (gathering registration) would be tax-deductible. I'm sure we'll get more info on that in the coming months.
Onto the main course. Greg was about to get up so I grabbed a clean tape and tossed it into the video camera I had just bought, specifically so I could tape the events of the con.
Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles, gets up to the podium and begins his intro. He then cuts short and yells out "Ladies and gentlemen, Keith David", directing everybody to the back of the room. Everybody turned and ... Keith wasn't there. A sweet callback to the 1997 Gathering where he pulled the same stunt.
Greg played an audio tape of some people who worked on Gargoyles saying hi to the fans. The people on tape were Frank Paur (producer), Keith David (voice of Goliath), Bob Kline (director), Dave Schwartz (storyboard artist), Troy Adomitis (storyboard artist), Vic Cook (storyboard artist), Ed Asner (voice of Hudson), and Crispin Freeman (voice actor for various animated series). A big thanks to Carol Wagner who was responsible for going around and getting these guys on tape. It was a real treat.
Greg gave us the news on the DVD. He announced the release date, December 7, and that the 5-part "Awakening" would have a commentary track that included Greg, Keith David, and Frank Paur. It would also include a (15 minute?) documentary on the Gathering con, which is why the film crew was there. There will be advertising for the release on Toon Disney and ABC Family.
Greg went into the standard material at this point. The pitch. The re-pitch(es). The promotions leading up to the show. The "it's better than Barney" story. The video pitches for "New Olympians" and "Dark Ages" as well as the lieca reel for "Bad Guys". Anyone whose attended at least one Gathering is well acquainted with this material, but it's always fun to hear the stories again. It's part tradition, part pre-history story telling, and I always enjoy it.
Greg played the voice track for an episode of "Team Atlantis" called "The Last" in which Demona and one of the hunters make an appearance. "Team Atlantis" was based on the movie "Atlantis" but was canceled after "Atlantis" had disappointedly (to Disney) box office numbers. But not before a few episodes were recorded! It was a nice inside-look at the animation process, and especially nice to hear that the grunts and groans we've had to do during past radio plays sound just as funny when done by the professionals.
After Penning Ceremonies, Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Wingless, Dan and I headed out to that pasta place we'd found earlier for dinner. On the way I found an ATM machine that was on a network that my ATM card could use and snagged my first bit of Canadian cash. Crazy stuff, especially with the shiny holograms in the corners of the their $20 bills.
The pasta place was really sweet. You picked your choice of pasta from a list of about 20 or so and then picked your sauce from a list of maybe 35 or so. The chef would put the meal together and cook it right in front of you. This night I had angel hair pasta with the Orleans sauce, which was basically chicken in some sort of cajun sauce. The guy gave me a dumbfounded stare at how I pronounced Orleans. Vash, who speaks French very well, would later tell me that it's pronounced a little like "Or-lee-oh" in French. Whups.
After dinner we headed headed back to the room to chill for a little bit until Greg's blue mug-a-guest at 11pm. The mug-a-guest was pretty tame, although some curious screen caps from a couple episodes of Gargoyles were making the rounds. A question about Angela and Gabriel came up but Greg said the two had more of a brother/sister relationship than anything else. Some fun with tails. But for the most part, it was more regular mug-a-guest with lots of stories about the development of the show.
After the mug-a-guest I crawled back into bed and fell asleep quickly.
Saturday, August 7, 2004
I didn't have any plans until the 12:30 Greg Weisman mug-a-guest. Vash and Sean, at some point, took off to attend the radio play auditions that were happening earlier that morning. Vash had finally broken down and auditioned. I met her and Sean during auditions and we three decided to take off in search of an electronics store. Sean was still looking to find a universal remote for the TV in the hotel room.
We set out into Montreal and soon found a computer hardware store. We browsed for a bit and eventually asked one of the clerks if they knew where the nearest Radio Shack was. We were finally pointed in the right direction and made our way to a nearby underground plaza.
Underground?! Apparently this is common in Montreal. You'll walk into the lobby of some nearby building (in our case, the Royal Bank of Canada I think it was) and you'll find stairs or an escalator, off in one corner of the lobby, leading down into the underground mall. If there are signs that mark where these entrances are, I didn't see them.
In the underground mall we found a bunch of shops typical to any US mall I'd been to, including the elusive Radio Shack. Sean bought his remote and I grabbed some lunch at a Subway. On the way back Vash stopped at a McDonalds with a mad craving for fries.
We were back at the hotel in time for Greg's mug-a-guest.
At these types of events, the mug-a-guests, I usually have nothing that I feel is relevant to ask. I much prefer to take the more passive role of sitting back and enjoying the stories that Greg has to tell. But while I was rattling around potential questions in my head, a conversation Vash and I had on the drive up popped into mind.
We had been talking about the Gargoyles:2198 spin-off. I'm mostly interested in the LXMs which I see as having huge potential, both in their concept, and in their use as a plot device. In a pre-Space Spawn world, I see them serving very good purposes and serving very dark purposes. I see a parallel between the LXMs and distributed computing, with all the pros and cons that come with DC. It would come down the intentions of the person who controlled the LXMs. It also rattles the brain a bit to figure out just what the nature of the Lex/Xanatos relationship is or was.
But, more to the point, Vash brings up Nick Maza. Where does he come from? Elisa and Goliath are a couple, and they can't have kids, so who else is there? Beth Maza? I spent the trip up with the notion it could have only been a descendant of Beth Maza. Derek's a mutant. Elisa's parents, we might assume, have no other kids, and we have yet to hear of any cousins to Elisa, Beth & Derek. So I figured it had to be one of the three, and Beth was the only one "available" to have kids. The kink in that idea is that if Beth were to marry, traditionally, she'd take her husband's last name, and so would any kids. So how does Nick get the Maza name?
Then at the blue mug-a-guest, someone had brought up E&G having kids. Vash had brought up in the car that Greg had said (at some point) that E&G would probably adopt a kid, but that the adoption, or the relationship, or something relating to that kid would have sadness and serendipity.. or something like that.
Anyways, Greg responds to the E&G kids question by bringing up the adoption angle, and his response seemed pretty cemented in the idea that E&G would definitely adopt. So as I'm sitting at the Saturday mug-a-guest with Greg, I start putting 2 and 2 together. If E&G adopt, what is that kid's last name going to be? Goliath doesn't have one (...well, not in the sense that I'm talking about). Would the kid take Elisa's last name? How would the general public react to news that she and Goliath had adopted a kid? Some sticky points.
What if the kid takes Elisa's last name? Now we've got a way for the Maza name to carry down a few generations to G2198. So I started working out on a way I could ask this to Greg without being direct. It seems that approach sometimes works better at getting an answer out of Greg than just being direct.
Just as I was putting it together, Carol Wagner came over and let me know that the Gargoyles DVD crew were interviewing fans and that I should probably go see those guys within the next half-hour or so.
But before I left, I asked my question. Does G2198's Nick Maza have an ancestor, born around this time (2004 +/- 5 years) who is adopted? Greg thought about it for a moment and said yes. HAH! Vash was there with me and I think we were the only two who realized what Greg had just revealed. With that I stood up and took off to see the DVD crew. Perhaps a bit too dramatically, but I just had my big moment for the day, so I was buzzing.
In the ballroom where Opening Ceremonies were held, the DVD crew had setup a white screen which they were interviewing fans in front of. I arrived in time to see one guy (whose name I'm blanking on, even after I had time to talk with him after the masquerade... DOH!) take of his shirt and reveal the Demona tattoo across his chest. Those of us watching all bet that that particular moment will be making it on the DVD.
A couple more people went up for interviews, including Becca Morgan. The DVD guys started talking about breaking for lunch, but were able to get me in before the took off. There wasn't anything big about the interview. Just typical questions that they seemed to ask all the fans. I'm guessing they'll have a quick montage of responses to their "Who is your favorite gargoyle?" question. I said Broadway, and when asked why, quoted Broadway's "slow and steady" mantra. But I doubt that'll make it on the DVD as I stumbled across the words.
They needed a separate "Who's your favorite bad guy?" so I could go off on Fang and how much I love that character. Jim Belushi's delivery, and Fang's great one-liners combine to make some of the most memorable moments in any Gargoyles episode. (Probably overshadowed by only the "Here's Puck" scene from "The Mirror").
So after the DVD bit, I headed back up to catch the tail end of Greg's mug-a-guest. I was feeling overly-confident in my earlier success that I tried to get Greg to answer whether or not Fox is alive in G2198. I did so by asking if Alexander Xanatos IV's mother is alive in 2198. AX IV is the same as baby Alex from the original series. Remember that Alex is 1/4th fae, and as such, has a different 'life cycle'. Fox is 1/2 fae. So if 1/4th fae can have an extended life, wouldn't 1/2 fae mean twice as long a life? (Assuming no unnatural causes in death.) Then it would make sense that she's alive in G2198, and Greg's lack of an answer makes me think that she is, but that she's in some kind of ... odd situation or position. Because I don't see why she wouldn't get involved in fighting the Space Spawn if she were alive, but we get no mention of her in the G2198 synopsis Greg's provided. So her role is either subdued or simply not there because of some other, unknown, factor.
And I think that Fox's position in G2198 somehow relates to what Titania whispered in Fox's ear somehow. But... theories aside...
Greg wouldn't answer my Fox question. So I was batting .500, which is better than I expected.
But in my own head, I think the answer is "Yes" followed by a very big "but".
And way back in the dark recesses of my mind, the alternate answer to "What did Titania whisper to Fox?" is something to do with Titania's past relationship with Xanatos.
But Greg's right. Leaving some things unanswered can be more fun.
So after the mug-a-guest came the radio play rehearsals. I was lucky enough to get selected for the radio play this year. While a group of us were waiting for Greg to show up I got to be the meat in a Siryn and CrzyD sammich. Very nice.
Jen later (post-con) showed me an old pic from the 98 con where I was also the meat in a S&C sammich. Of course I was in drag, Jen had body paint, and Siryn had a horn. At the rehearsals, Jen didn't have body paint, and Siryn had no horn.
Greg showed up and handed out scripts to everyone for "The Journey". My earlier hunch had been proven correct. I was given the part of Matt Bluestone. No grunts and growls for me, this year I had real words! Vash got the part of Maria Chavez and so we had a scene together.
We went through the script once with Greg providing feedback on our performances.
Then it was time for the show. Greg had been worried that with 31 parts, there'd be nobody left to attend the show itself, but we had a great turnout. Riverdale did a great Vinnie and easily stole the show. The guy who played John Castaway (was his name Eric?) nailed his performance of John Castway and the scenes between him and Riverdale as Vinnie, I thought, were some of the best we've had in any radio play.
After the radio play we headed back to the room to get ready for the banquet.
At the banquet there was still no sign of Keith David, although rumor had it that he was on his way and would make it in time for the masquerade. At our table was Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Silver and her mom. The banquet started off with a shrimp cocktail which only Sean ate. I inspected mine, but I'm not a big shrimp guy. But we did have some dinner rolls the rest of us filled up on them. We think one of the roll types served at our table had bits of olive in it. And we think those olives caused a green discoloration on the outside of the rolls. This is what we think. But we also think we may have had a small anti-biotics factory in our bread basket as well.
There was also a salad, which I'm told the hotel does not normally serve with the dressing that came with it. Apparently, while taste-testing things out, the con staff enjoyed the salad we had, but liked the dressing from another salad they had taste-tested. The hotel was willing to accommodate. Pretty cool.
The main course was quail, which was very tasty. During this time Keith David arrived! He was seated and the staff began to serve him his meal. Greg started moderating questions for Keith, who would answer between bites. Greg was also willing to take questions, but I think everyone was focused on Keith. I found Keith to be incredibly open, willing to share, and very very friendly. The guy could read names out of a phone book and I think we'd all still hang on his every word.
Dessert was either with "seasonal fruit charlotte strawberry coulis" or "three-chocolate Bavarian cake with raspberry coulis" depending on .. luck, really. I had the three-chocolate one and it was damn nice. Best dessert I've had in a long time.
All throughout dessert Keith David continued to take questions. In the ballroom next to ours there was another party going on, during which they broke out the karaoke machine. So while we were all trying to listen to Keith talk, we were subjected to some less-than-stellar karaoke performances, barely muffled by the partition between the two rooms. At one point Keith yelled out "Somebody kill that horse!", during (I think) somebody's rendition of that Celine Dion song from Titanic (and, holy crap, was it bad).
We got to hear the story about the origins of Jalapena, and how there was a mini-revolt among the production staff to stop Greg from using it, lead by Frank Paur (I believe). Keith gave the name of the singer he got "Jalapena!" from, but I've already forgotten it. I wish I'd brought my video camera with me to the banquet.
After the banquet we had a break while the room was cleared and prepared for the masquerade.
The ballroom's lights were dimmed for some reason (maybe at the DVD crew's request?) so what I was able to video tape came out particularly odd (in terms of light).
I grabbed a seat to the side of the area where the cosplayers would be performing. The judges for the masquerade were Greg, Keith, the hotel manager and his wife. The hotel manager seemed to get really into it. The manager's wife seemed like a deer in headlights.
During the first skit, I discovered I was in a crappy place to video tape from. All I was getting were peoples sides. So I moved around to the back of the ballroom and started taping from there. I was in a nice place as I was able to get people as the entered and stood on stage.
Loopy's costume of a character named Korul, and his performance done to his song "The Gargoyle Who's Afraid of Heights" stole the show. It was a great costume, with functional wings, and the performance was fun. Jade Griffin came in as Elisa in her yellow (Belle) dress from the episode "Eye of the Beholder" and wowed the crowd as she tore the skirt off (nice) much like Elisa in said episode. Flanker came in as the Hunter, complete with a sword (a fencing foil I think). There was a Fox/Xanatos couple where Xanatos carried Fox down to the stage area. Their costumes were also from "Eye of the Beholder" so Fox was in just a trench coat while X had his jet pack on. There was a classy looking Fox in a black evening dress played by Annie (I think). There was an Ophelia who I think showed up late and missed the judging portion. Patrick Toman was done up as Puck. Karine (con-chair) was done up as pregnant Fox from the episode "Walkabout". Karine, herself, is a few months pregnant. Siryn was dressed as young Tom (the only one in drag this year, I believe). There was a sweet Echidna costume, complete with snake tail and a snake-form of danglies (old school s8 chat ppl knows about danglies). Cindy was done up as Titania (who knew Titania could sing?!), a Princess Katherine, and a Macbeth and Gruoch. There were some original character costumes whose names are just absolutely escaping me. One was a nurse; there was a gargoyle lady who had these spring-loaded wings which were sweet, ... I'm easily missing at least 10 more people. Sorry, my memory is crap.
After the masquerade, things transitioned into a sort of karaoke/dance party. This is probably the part of the con I most enjoyed. I got to meet and talk with a ton of other fans, many of whom I've met only online before this night.
Keith David came back down and did a song for us acapella. He said during the banquet he's wanted to always do a movie about Nat King Cole, and he could! It was a great song to listen to, and very memorable moment, made all the more so by Arno getting grabassed while slow dancing with another guy during the whole thing. Oh, and that's on camera too. Nice.
One guy got up (is this Eric?... someone was named Eric, and it totally threw me off) and did a parody of "Blame Canada!" from the South Park movie called "Blame Gargoyles" which was hilarious.
MAui is crazy. At some point she convinces somebody to play YMCA and tries to get me up to dance. Feh! I don't dance, at least there aren't any videos to prove it, despite urban myths of a certain "goats go to hell" song. Anyways, I didn't know the words to the song (as people started singing along) nor did I have any clue what the 'dance' was. Batting .000, finally back to my normal average.
But I wasn't the only one. And very quickly, the lyrics we sang became "something" for every word besides the refrain. Ah, mass crazy. This is what the con is all about.
A lot of people stuck around well into evening. Just before I left, Greg went over to this giant sketch pad (if you can all it that) and drew a gargoyle in orange marker. Where this thing is now I'd love to know. I think it was his own misc. gargoyle, although it did look like Brooklyn, wearing a pair of sunglasses.
Finally exhausted from the day, I headed back to the room to sleep.
Sunday, August 8, 2004
Having stayed up until 2am the night before, I slept in late on Sunday. I woke up around 10:30am. Vash and Sean had already woken up and taken off for who knows where. I was left to fend for myself. I got myself together and headed down in hopes of catching the first of two Keith David mug-a-guests.
The mug-a-guest was to take place in the same room where the art show and dealer room were located. When I showed up I discovered Keith had missed his first mug-a-guest. Later I was told this happened simply because he hadn't been informed about the mug-a-guest and didn't know he was scheduled to show up. No worries, there was still the afternoon mug-a-guest, and Closing Ceremonies.
I still hadn't found Vash and Sean and I wasn't up for lunch, so I decided to hit the art show. The art this year was some of the best stuff I've seen yet. Even Greg's kids got into the act and have a few pieces on display. The "wtf" of the show goes to Stormy's 'Caught in the Act'. Basically she took some of the Kenner Gargoyles figures and put them in dresses. Odd? Shocking? Different? I don't know, but I sure as hell won't be getting THAT image out of my head anytime soon. A lot of the con staff are exception artists and more than once I had to be reminded by IRC Goliath (who was there checking out the art as well) that I couldn't vote for them. I dug the etchings which I believe were made by Y2Hecate. I was very close to buying one and trying to put that in as a window on my computer case. I definitely wanted to buy a piece of art this year. I had a few extra bucks and I wanted to do my piece to support the artists in the fandom, so I was on the hunt. Most of the art that was up for sale were done through silent auctions. However the piece that caught my eye wasn't, it had a flat buy price, and so I quickly snatched it up. It's a profile of Demona's face done by Andrea Zucconi. I'd love to know what Andrea was thinking as she drew this. (I should probably e-mail her.) What I see when I look at it is a moment of vulnerability and perhaps sadness in her face. It's one of those things you just really never see or expect to see from Demona, which makes it all the more interesting. When I'm looking at it, I don't see the cold-hearted, walled-up Demona seen throughout much of the show, but someone who actually feels emotion. I dunno. I dig it. I've got to take it to a place and get it framed.
Still a few minutes before the mug-a-guest so I headed outside the door, onto the terrace, where I saw BrooklynX. I finally got a chance to check out BrooklynX's stash of cells. As he told to me, what Vic Cook (storyboard artist for the show) said at last year's con was true, he has more Gargoyles cels than Disney. BX even has the cel used in some marketing materials that shows the main cast lined up together. It's the same image of Owen, Xanatos, Demona, Goliath and Elisa that I've had on the front page of s8 for the past couple years. Incredible. He also had a couple cels from "Eye of the Beholder" which is a personal favorite of mine. He also has another book of cels from other shows and artwork that he's either commissioned or had given to him as a gift. The guy knows his artchicks.
Karlyl and Silver were also there and I sat down and hung out with them for a few. There were some oddball balloons floating around so I grabbed a couple to give a minor reenactment of the '98 con. Although these balloons were a bit on the large size, not that I minded, much.
I headed back into the art/dealer room to await Keith's eventual appearance. While I was waiting I was finally clued into who the line of 10 or so people sitting behind one of the tables were. They were the authors of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and they were signing copies of the book. Never one to turn down the chance for a good souvenir, I grabbed myself a copy and proceeded down the line getting autographs of all the authors. Stormy and Whitbourne were both in line and I they really made it an especially treasured souvenir as they both wrote comments about how they met each other through s8 and that they're planning on getting married. It's especially cool to hear about people who met through the fandom and developed a close relationship. I wonder, 20 years from now, how many kids there will be simply because this fandom exists. (Not to put any pressure on Stormy and Whit, hah.) And do we include Keith David's kids in that? He and his wife had their first date during the first Gathering back in 1997, as Greg tells it. Pretty cool.
Keith showed up to the mug-a-guest and went around the room shaking hands, checking out the artwork that was on display, and talking to the Phoenix Gate Anthology people. He was a real class-act, taking his time to meet everyone in the room. He seemed genuinely interested in the artwork and PGA stuffs. Very cool guy.
I was too busy paying attention to my camera, trying to get everything on tape, to hear everything he said. And I am presently away from my tapes of the mug-a-guest, so I don't have much to say about what was said. I can say that Keith was very open, very willing to talk and go into great depth on whatever he was asked. I remember his first question was about the cologne he was wearing, which a lady or two seemed to enjoy. He said he couldn't remember every show specifically, when asked about his favorite episode. He said one of his favorite lines from the show was "I've lost everything, even my revenge!", which Goliath yells out in Awakening (part 2 I think). He talked a bit about his interpretation of the line and what it meant to him. He also talked about the lack of killing in the show and how important he felt that was. "We beat [the bad guys] up pretty good, but we never killed anyone.", I think was what he said. He talked about other movies he's been in, told a story or two about filming "Men At Work" with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. He was very cool, very willing to talk, and it was really enjoyable.
After the mug-a-guest I caught up with Vash and Sean who had shown up for the mug as well. I paid for the art piece I had bought and we went back up to our room for a few minutes while we waited for Closing Ceremonies.
This would be the first time I was able to attend closing ceremonies as at previous cons I would have to leave early on Sunday to catch my bus or train home. Since I was leaving on Monday, I could stay and catch all the Sunday events. Karine got up and said a few words, got the crowed pumped for the 2005 con, and thanked the con staff and volunteers. The whole crew really did a great job putting together and managing the con. Greg wasn't around for the closing ceremonies as he had to leave early to be with his family and celebrate his daughter's birthday.
After closing ceremonies, Keith was available to sign autographs. I had brought with me a copy of issue #1 of the Gargoyles comic put out by Marvel, with the giant Goliath on the cover (and a bumpy cover too). I also had with me one of those new silver Sharpie markers that I picked up at the Staples (equivalent) next door to the hotel. I handed him the book to sign and he took a few moments to look through the comic. He seemed to get a kick out of it. I then asked him for a second autograph for a friend, and to sign it "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". An odd request no doubt, but he was very cool and signed it. It's for a friend whose autograph collection is made up of those collected by his friends, each one saying "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". It had started as a goof when he missed a signing by Kevin Smith way back in the day, and it's just snowballed since. He's got a Captain Atom book I had Greg sign last year as well.
Vash and IRC Goliath also had things to get signed. Vash had her picture taken with Keith, as did IRC Goliath. He gave Keith a t-shirt as well. I forget which one it was, but it had a line-drawing of a gargoyle (Goliath?) on the front. I think Step L.. I can't spell her last name, Raptor Woman, I think she had drawn it.
Anyways, with our autographed swag in hand, we got together, (Vash, Sean, myself, IRC Goliath, Wingless and Dan) and we headed out to the pasta place for dinner, again. This time through I ordered angel hair with the teriyaki sauce, which had dark-meat chicken in it. It was mighty tasty.
When we got back there was a group of people trying to get 30+ people together for a game of laser tag at a nearby place. But I declined. I wanted to get to bed fairly early so we could leave early the next morning. On our way back to the room, IRC Goliath stopped by the con suite to see if he could swing a couple of non-staff passes into their postmortem party. We continued on to our room. IRC Goliath showed up an hour or two later. We hung out for a while, then IRC Goliath took off, I watched TV for a little while, then went to bed.
Monday, August 9, 2004 (Abridged)
Drive home was fairly uneventful. Left Montreal around 11am. Dropped Vash and Sean off in the Bronx around 6pm. Got home just before 10pm. Slept. A lot.
Gorebash, I can't think of anyone who deserved a fan guest of honor award more than you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here answering questions here at ASK GREG.